Bill Daniel’s Mostly True: The Story Of Bozo Texino

Art, Books — Doctor Ninja on August 11, 2008 at 6:13 am

Out of all the books I’m reading this is mostly the best one. Mostly because it’s Hobo zine. It’s got the spunk & spirit of a fanzine but theses Hobo tales take to the rails in the form of a book, nice and fancy like. It’s no punk zine of crummy stapled together zeroxes, this here bound paper has the air of Hobo pride. You could rightly say that this train book is perfect bound. Now some people might right about now be jumping to conclusions about Hoboes. I’ll tell you right here and now that it ain’t no Homo typo. And it ain’t a bum askin’ for a hand out. If that’s what you thought than you can just ferget it. Hoboes are well traveled adventurous folk. They know how to tell a tale, mostly cause they seen it with they’re own eyes . The funky dudes who ride for free… freedom riders on the freights, from They just hop on a freight and ride from here to there with the wind in their hair. And by hair I mean scragely beards because they’re most likely wearing some kind of dirty hat. Hobo hats can get pretty dirty when they’re takin’ a nap in them there boxcars. Napping may sound like some sort of bum activity, but don’t get it twisted, Hoboes are a hard workin’ folk. ‘Bos are well traveled and many are accomplished artists. Many thousands, and by thousands I mean millions of Hobo drawings & monikers can be seen across the country, back and forth, from coast to coast. The well known arteest and man of mystery Bozo Texino was the subject of Bill Daniel’s critically acclaimed documentary & you could say that this here book is the compendium to that fine flick… “Who is Bozo Texino?” Buy this book and you might just find yourself some answers. You also might find that Mostly True is treasure trove of Hobo graffitti, a true and livin’ geniuine American art form.

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Microcosm Publishing distributed by AK Press

Fortunate Son: George Bush and the Making of an American President – J.H. Hatfield

Books — Doctor Ninja on April 7, 2008 at 7:29 pm

I didn’t read this book, cuz… well shit… I’m the fucking president.

Fortunate Son, third edition

Fortunate Son, third edition – J.H. Hatfield
introduction by Mark Crispin Miller
preface by Greg Palast published by Soft Skull Press
distributed by Publishers Group West

Phoenix, Volume 5: Resurrection by Osamu Tezuka

Books — Doctor Ninja on March 14, 2008 at 10:40 am

Back to front… that’s how manga is read in Japan. Not realizing I had Dadakai’s English translation of Phoenix in my hand I began reading backwards. Reading backwards is a lot like reading in between the lines… it can really make you question the fundamental truths of human existence.

The story began “Osamu Teszuka’s Phoenix was his life’s work. Considered by many to be one of the finest works of Japanese comics art ever produced, Phoenix: Resurrection takes place in the year 3344.”

While reading in English but thinking in Japanese the words became a bit jumbled in my mind and I thought, “Hmmmm… mind bottling…” It was mind bottling. All those crazy ideas bubbling in the container of shaken soda pop that is my brain. Robots. People. People-Robots.

While this review might read like mixed up mumbo jumbo, Osamu Tezuka intertwines and time-warps story lines seamlessly. Reincarnation, robot rebellions, mass suicide, inter-species love affairs, murder, lies, betrayal, threats to international security, the artificial intelligence / natural emotion crossover conundrum… “Resurrection” spans a breathtaking evolution of 860 years.

This is one of my favorite chapters in the Phoenix series. It reflects back to earlier volumes Phoenix, a bit of a treat for those who read them in sequential order. Speaking of volumes 1 through 12 being read in order… Here’s what the author has to say, “Each story would stand on its own and seem to have nothing to do with the other stories, but the final story would tie everything together – and for the first time, the reader would realize that the structure of the series is such that each story would be just one part of a much longer story. After all, man’s history does not have clear divisions or breaks.” – Osamu Tezuka 1969

This book is awesome, go read Phoenix Vol. 1-6 now! I’m in the middle of #9 right now… just keeping one step ahead of you knuckleheads…

Phoenix, Volume 5: Resurrection by Osamu Tezuka published by VIZ MEDIA

MW by Osamu Tezuka

Books — Doctor Ninja on January 10, 2008 at 10:06 am

MW is another masterpiece by comics-god Osamu Tezuka. The Japanese Walt Disney brings us the touching story of Michio Yuki… a careering banker by day, a kidnapping transvestite, poison gas damaged priest-fucker by night. Doesn’t sound much like the lovable robot Astro Boy comics Tezuka is known for in America, does it?

Starting his career in 1946, super genius Osamu Tezuka turned Japanese comics into a serious art form, earning him the title “the godfather of manga”. For no reason at all, I recently decided that I needed to read one of these fat little graphic novels. Having no prior knowledge of manga comics I had the good fortune of somewhat randomly picking the first volume of Tezuka’s critically acclaimed “Buddha” to read on the subway. By the end of the end my train ride I was ready to go back to the bookstore to buy the next seven volumes. Over 5000 pages of Tezuka comics later, I’m still hooked. Beautiful drawings and masterful writing, there’s not much praise I can give him that he hasn’t already received.

While I’m currently speed reading my way through his playful Astro Boy paperbacks, the last single volume book I read of Tezuka’s was the mind blowing MW. If Osamu were not a god of the comic book medium, it might be hard to believe that MW was written by the same guy who created Astro Boy… although Astro Boy does have two machine guns implanted in his ass which is pretty demented given his Disney-esque appeal.

MW (which I figured out can only stand for Massacre Weapons, although it is never specified) is a dark and haunting thriller. Written over thirty years ago it follows a sociopath and his quest to find the secret chemical weapon that traumatized him as a youth. A man of many faces (literally) he is a very likable personification of pure evil. He’s the kind of rapist that you can’t help liking… similar to the character Alex in Anthony Burgess’s “A Clockwork Orange”. I don’t want too say too much more about this page-turner. Pick it up and you won’t put it down. If pure evil isn’t your cup of tea start reading Buddha. Just be prepared to buy all 8 volumes if you do.

http://vertical-inc.com/books/MW/MW_preview01.html

MW by Osamu Tezuka Translated by Camellia Nieh
Graphic Novel / Manga Hardcover
978-1-932234-83-1 / 1-932234-83-7
584 Pages 6 x 8 inches

MW by Osamu Tezuka

Public Wall Writing in Philadelphia

Books — Doctor Ninja on January 7, 2008 at 11:34 am

There’s nothing better than scribbling on a wall. Mark makers making their mark wherever they may roam. For some, it’s proclamations of love, for others it’s a way of tracing their steps through a world of urban dystopia. And sometimes it’s just a way to burst the bubble of boredom that is waiting for the train. These days it’s also a felony. Maybe that’s why writing on the wall has turned into an extreme sport rather than a public forum. Now that scribbling, “I love my Mom” or “Cornbread was here” on the side of a bus depot can get you cuffed & caged it takes a certain amount of guts to leave your mark. Just putting the pen to the wall marks you as a criminal.

Not that writing wasn’t always illegal, but back then the worst punishment was community service. They made you buff walls along with other writers… a good time to plan the next story. Today it’s a high stakes game for public space… one fueled by corporate vandals who pay police protection so they can advertise on everything in sight. Today it’s an ass beating followed by a prison sentence. If “Monique” wants to advertise her love for “Tony” with a ballpoint pen she can do from inside a jail cell, not on a wall reserved for a five-foot tall hamburger from McDonald’s or seventy-five feet of Kool Nike Menthol cigarette swooshes. This book takes you back to the days when walls were big blank canvases with plenty of room to spray paint heartfelt sentiments like “Damn right Fuck Rizzo!” and “Peace & Love, North Philly Soul – Jimi Astro in ‘75”. Can it be that it was all so simple then?

Looking at Public Wall Writing in Philadelphia is like looking at footprints in the snow. There are no introductions, no text, and no explanations. Each photograph is a chapter in the Philly story told by the people who live there … mysteries, love stories, and a thousand biographies all on the same page.

The Megawords Magazine crew dug deep into the Urban Archives of Temple University Libraries to find these 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s black and white gems. These photos have something that most “graffiti” books lack… sincerity. Sincerity aka “keeping it real” is essential, so big ups to Megawords & Free News Projects for this book… keep writing… books, walls… whatever.

Public Wall Writing in Philadelphia
96 pages, black and white, two-color perfectbound softcover, 9.5 x 13.5
Published by www.megawordsmagazine.com and www.freenewsprojects.com

Public Wall Writing in Philadelphia

Like A Thief’s Dream by Danny Lyon

Books — Doctor Ninja on November 19, 2007 at 1:38 am

Escaping from prison is awesome! Read about it here… plus my early drug smuggling career.

True Crime/Memoir
Hardcover, 6.25 x 9.25 inches, 200 pages,
20 duotone and four-color photographs
ISBN: 978-1-57687-361-8

www.powerhousebooks.com/books!/thiefsdream/

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U.F.O. a product of THE COMBUSTIVE MOTOR CORPORATION

Art, Books — Doctor Ninja on May 10, 2007 at 10:44 am

U.F.O.’s are painted all over New York City. Writers send mysterious U.F.O. packages to people. Call and response. I asked Jeeves if he believed in UFO’s. Jeeves had no answer but Ben Weasel had this to say:

“I believe in UFO’s
Baldheaded men with goldfish bowls
Tied securely round their waists
Observing us from outer space
I believe in UFO’s (x4)
Men from space invade my dreams
Simply confirming my beliefs
The government will not admit
Another race of man exists
CI believe in UFO’s (x4)
Twinkle twinkle UFO
There are those of us who know
You’re up above up in the sky
Watching our planet slowly die”

I like graffiti. I like books. UFO’s are weird. This book is weird. I like weird.

http://powerhousebooks.com/

Negativland – No Business

Art, Books, Movies, Music — Doctor Ninja on May 7, 2007 at 12:02 pm

This is a really nice package. There are 8 tracks of audio, one video tack & a fifty-page book packed into a well-designed black and yellow rectangle thats over twice the size of your average cd. If all the copyright law debate and intellectual property discussion is too much to wrap your brain around all at once they also include a whoopee cushion for comic relief. The audio tracks are made entirely of recycled sounds, from show tunes to old movies cut-ups, as theyre known in the biz. For Negativland fans this is nothing neweven underwhelming, if you know how much of a densely packed audio punch Negativland can deliver. This is sort of a Negativland for Dummies (which explains the black and yellow packaging), so you wont find the obscure home recordings, found sounds & original noises that are usually mixed with the hacked up pop tunes. Its still a fun listen the perfect present for your parents or anyone who doesnt understand fair use & thinks the creation of art from found materials is a criminal activity. There is a not so hidden treat for the old school fans, but it does require putting the cd into a computer. The Gimme the Mermaid video collaboration with Tim Mahoney is a nice jab at their old record label & courtroom nemesis, SST records. A combination of Disneys the Little Mermaid and a youd better get a lawyer, cuz I own you & Im gonna sue your ass phone-call, topped off with mockery of the Black Flag classic Gimme Gimme Gimme its the kind of anti-corporate absurdist hilarity weve come to expect from Negativland.

Editors note: Tim Maloney is a former Disney animator & the Gimme the Mermaid video was created on Disneys own computers while the corporate monsters werent looking!

http://negativland.com/

The Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh

Books — Doctor Ninja on April 13, 2007 at 12:37 am

Doctor Ninja don’t review no commie poems!
He reads them on the underground metal dragon,
With the uplifting downtrodden,
People of New York City!

The prison diary of Ho Chi Minh was written between August 28, 1942, and September 16, 1943, when Nguyen That Thanh – alias Ngyugen Ai Quoc, alias Ho Chi Minh – was a prisoner of Chiang Kai-shek’s police in several of South China’s jails. It is not a “diary” in the Western sense, for it consists of 115 verse-quatrains and Tang poems in the classical Chinese style.

“In such men as Ho Chi Minh, the intelligence and sensibility are one. There is nothing secret in his public and private life. To him the sight of sight of suffering is a call for both action and to poetical expression.� from the Preface by Phan Nhuan

I found this lovely little paperback amongst pornography & old magazines at one of NYC’s finest street vendors. Find your way to this book or save your strength & let it find you!

Ho Chi Min

YOUNG, SLEEK, and FULL of HELL: TEN YEARS OF NEW YORK’S ALLEGED GALLERY by Aaron Rose

Art, Books — Doctor Ninja on April 12, 2007 at 10:36 pm

“1. How did you first find out about Alleged? 2. What shows/times at Alleged were you involved in? 3. What was your favorite Alleged moment? 4. What was the “hairiest” moment or most sketchy Alleged moment? 5. How do you see Alleged as representing/symbolizing any specific moments in time?”

Brendan Fowler (aka BARR the rapper) emailed about seventy artists/scenesters these questions. I took the liberty of answering them myself. They might come in handy… if I ever put out a book out about all the cool stuff I did in the 90’s. If you like nostalgia, you’ll love this book. There are lots of photos too… pictures of what “cool art” & “the scene” looked like… way back when.

1. From 1992 to around 2002, I had no interest in what was happening in New York Galleries. I spent most of my time in the streets. Allegedly there was this gallery that showed street art. You could see that stuff by just walking around. I did a lot of walking around so I probably past it a few times but I never went inside. I was into drinking forties at Casualties shows, smokin’ blunts with Boot Camp Clik and all types of ill shit. One day Andrew Jeffrey Wright was tellin’ me something & I was barely paying attention… my mind was on food at the time… then I heard the word “Gallery” and left to go find a sandwich. That was the first time I heard about Alleged.

2. Mid 90’s I started working on this project at Dojo’s on St. Marks. It was really small space, just big enough to fit a toilet & a sink, so it was easy to put art up. It’s not there anymore but that’s how I was introduced to Barry McGee. He started doing stuff there too & I thought it was pretty sharp. I left NYC, end of August, 2001 cuz I was doing a lot of installations in galleries, art mausoleums… places like that. Did you know that some galleries don’t even have walls?!? Once I was in this cave in Ohio and saw these two dudes with huge beards. I was all drunk & said “WHAZZZ-UP?? ZZ TOP!!!� Then I thought to myself… “uh-oh… if dat ain’t dem uhma hafta get the gatz on”… but they ended up being really cool. That was the first time I met Chris Johanson and another guy with a beard. I didn’t really get involved in what Aaron was doing until the Beautiful Losers thing. Christian Strike emailed me a few times. Then he shook my hand at Beaver College. Anyways I wanted a copy of the show catalog and Christian said I could have one for half price, but that was still like 25 bucks so I said fuck it. Later I found a copy at the Strand for a lot cheaper. Anyways, back when Aaron started Alleged, I was really into zines. I used to hang out at Fat Beats a lot & found this dope zine called ON THE GO… shit.. All this reminiscesizing got me confused… what was the question again?

3. My favorite Alleged moment� Hmmmmmm. I had a print in this show & it was hanging in the bathroom. At the closing of the show there where all these girls waiting to pee & Jeffrey Deitch comes out of nowhere & starts yelling at them… “Get the hell out of here! Go take a piss in your own bathroom!�” I was kind of shocked, cuz normally Jeffrey’s all cool, calm & collected. After the smoke cleared I went into the bathroom & my print was gone! I thought maybe one of the girls stole it, but allegedly Jeffrey took off with it.

4. Chloe Sevigny & I were buyin’ some drugs from Duane Reade. It was really sketchy cuz Duane was at 14th St. & 3rd Avenue at the time. Anyways, I ended up getting multi-vitamins! I don’t even remember what kinda shit she got… it was a really crazy time. Another thing I remember… there was a lot of lettuce at David Aron’s wedding. It was at the top of this hill & there were hippies everywhere. Big trees ‘an shit… it was wild. It seems like where ever David is there are all these hippies hangin’ around. Man, those guys are hairy!

5. I ran into Stephen Powers the other day. He told me something that meant a lot to me at the time… “I haven’t seen you up lately… ya gotta keep bombin’, stay up!” Then he gave me an industry hug, hopped on his motorcycle and vvvrrrrhoooom!!! It was very symbolic. The good ol’ days were great and we’ve learned a lot since then. Some of us learned how to ride motorcycles and some of us learned how to stay out of jail. Most importantly… we’ve all learned that yesterday means something, even if we’re not sure what it is yet.

http://www.dragolab.it/ Paperback, 7 x 10 in./224 pgs / 100 color and 100 b&w.

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